After a year of hearings, testimony, analysis and modeling by many parties, including Sierra Club and Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, the Public Regulation Commission has approved a plan for PNM to replace San Juan's coal power with 100% solar power and battery storage!This is a huge transition from the major source of coal electricity in New Mexico. The solar/storage plan will invest $1 billion in San Juan, Rio Arriba and McKinley counties. It will create 3,500 jobs. It will restore the property taxes lost when San Juan closes. And it will SAVE customers between $6 and $7 a month on their electricity bills. While this is a very big victory for everyone, some who want to keep San Juan running as a carbon-capture coal plant put a lot of pressure on commissioners to delay a decision for a year or to throw away all the projects and require new bids. Commissioners Valerie Espinoza, Cynthia Hall, Theresa Becenti-Aguilar, Steve Fischmann and Jefferson Byrd deserve and need to hear as many thank-yous as we can muster. The Energy Transition Act's emphasis on location and environmental impact of replacement power were key to approval of the 100% solar-and-storage plan -- thank you for supporting that landmark legislation.While the ill-advised effort to continue San Juan's pollution as a carbon-capture coal plant is not dead, the ETA and this plan put more obstacles in its way. Take a moment to bask in the replacement of 450 MW of dirty coal power being replaced with carbon-free energy, $1 billion in investment in impacted communities and cleaner air for everyone.
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